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Reviews on new iPGCE courses please

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Morris1976, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    As for online learning being a load of rubbish, I suggest you give Harvard Extension School and go and see how it lacks rigour
    Bill8899 likes this.
  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I would say any PGCE is far inferior to a B.ed.....i actually studied education for 4 years not just 8 months
  3. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Oh yeah, without a doubt
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  4. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    iPGCE is one of the money-making machines deployed by UK universities these days. As an aside, if I didn’t study pre-£9k p/a, I wouldn’t bother. Charging such an extortionist fee and offering modules online (to full time, on campus students) is a big shame.
    T0nyGT likes this.
  5. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    Would you say a BEd in Secondary Mathematics is far inferior to a BSc in Mathematics? If not, why not? Really curious to know.
  6. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    You can have all the subject knowledge in the world, but without the skills, knowledge, understanding of how to properly communicate this to children it is completely useless. I have seen this numerious times over the years. Especially from people who have fancy degrees from OxBridge....they have been the most useless teachers i have ever seen.
    T0nyGT and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  7. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Exactly! A B.Ed is the definitive qualification! So those whining about how much more amazing their 1 one year qualification is than mine, I say HA!
    Bill8899 and dumbbells66 like this.
  8. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Yes. While there are pros and cons of both routes, I would agree with you on this. This doesn’t mean that I should start feeling all inferior or that we should feel all superior to those who have taken a different route. With the nonsense in China about a B.Ed not being given the recognition it deserves, the UK universities and government should take steps to automatically confer a PGCE to anyone who is awarded a B.Ed - something that should have been done a long time ago in order to recognise the post grad/masters level components of the course.

    Some PGCEi courses are better than others. Some PGCE course are better than others. Some are called Post Graduate Certi... , others are called Professional Gradua....., some are offered in the UK by, ahem, “private” universities. There are also some older, and therefore experienced teachers, in the UK system who have NEVER taken a teaching course of any description - they were “licenced ” or qualified “on the job” or were drafted in and given QTS because there was a shortage (some without Bachelor degrees or equivalent).

    Back to the OP’s question. Sunderland is probably the best course at the moment but it is also the most expensive. The needs of your school and your teachers will determine which course is the best one for your school.

    Also, the best course doesn’t necessarily produce the best teachers - if it did then the “best” schools would all have the “best” teachers all with the “best” certificates from the “best” universities. The real world, the one that we live in, fortunately doesn’t work like this.
    T0nyGT, Bill8899 and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  9. Bill8899

    Bill8899 New commenter

  10. noncon

    noncon New commenter

    I've been thinking about applying to one of these iPGCE/PGCE distance learning courses for a while now, but I honestly do not know which one is the best one for me. I've done a lot of research, weighed up all the pro's and con's and I'm considering three options.

    1. iPGCE with the University of Nottingham

    2. PGCE IDL with University of Sunderland

    3. PGCE at University of Nottingham Malaysia

    Now before people start replying with 'they don't give you QTS/go back to the UK and do a real PGCE!!!' etc etc, I understand what jobs I can and cannot apply for with an online PGCE. I would love to go back to the UK and spend a year getting my PGCE but my current circumstance (which I don't want to go into) does not allow it at the moment. May be in the future, who knows?

    Option 1 seems best as I can work and study at the same time. I currently teach at a university in Saudi Arabia as an ESL Instructor and quite frankly I get paid the same (or sometimes even more compared to some of the salaries I've seen advertised on various job sites) than what most qualified teachers get paid in Dubai/Qatar/Kuwait and other countries. I don't want to give up this source of income.

    Option 2 seems better in terms of job opportunities as it has a teaching practical component, however I am unsure if I can work and study at the same time and I don't know if there are any schools in Saudi Arabia that I can train with. I would be grateful to anyone who has completed a PGCE IDL with University of Sunderland in Saudi Arabia or even mentored students at international schools in the Kingdom that can provide me with further information on this, especially finding a placement.

    Option 3 is an alternative option in which I can do the course part time, allowing me to work in Malaysia and study. It's a classroom based, face-to-face course but doesn't have a teaching practical component.

    I've been teaching in Saudi Arabia for the past 3 years, going onto my 4th. I feel like its time to develop my skills and gain qualifications that can open more doors for me in the future, with the possibility of higher salary. Ideally I would like to start teaching in international schools and teach either Biology or Chemistry as my undergraduate degree is in Biochemistry.

    I'd appreciate all advice, criticisms, opinions and maybe the occasional kick up the backside.
    Bill8899 likes this.
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    This explains why I had to show several new teachers how to use the Schonell reading and spelling tests this summer!
  12. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I did look that up. It’s quite interesting. There are so many many assessments available. Some, I read, are definitely influenced by Schonell.
    Our school does not utilize this resource. And I was asking some of my colleagues (trained in England) about it and they were unfamiliar. Most of them are quite young, so maybe they weren’t exposed to it.
    My mom, who was a reading specialist and primary teacher for 30 years, also had no clue. However, she’s quite old now and American.
    Is it more used in Australian curriculum schools?
    Bill8899 likes this.
  13. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Never heard of it. Granted I've only worked in 4 schools but even looking online it seems like quite a legacy system everywhere but New Zealand
    Bill8899 and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Its a legacy system, just like teaching phonics for reading and spelling.
  15. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    You strike me as one those teachers who just won't let go of things from a bygone era and criticises anyone who does something differently to how you used to in a 70s grammar school. Just search Google for Schonell tests. If it's so fantastic why is it barely mentioned anywhere. Phonics has stood the test of time, yet if your 1970s spelling test is so great then why is it such a trade secret. Maybe you should tell the internet how great they are. I'm sure they haven't in any way been surpassed by the many more popular software marked tests.

    "In my day..."
    Bill8899, grdwdgrrrl and dumbbells66 like this.
  16. february31st

    february31st Established commenter


    There are other examples you can easily find that show what the drop in standards of teaching has done to the education of the UK population. Is it no wonder that OAPs in the UK score higher in reading, spelling and maths tests compared to the current generation of school leavers.


    Many private schools use the same traditional teaching techniques used since the 1950s or earlier.

    In my day I did go to a 70s grammar school and BLOODY Grateful I did even if the cane was included.
  17. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I think the thread has been hijacked. May need to take this to another thread created for this kind of thing.
  18. Bill8899

    Bill8899 New commenter

    I also think Option 1 is best. Sunderland provides value, but may be unworkable.
    If you can find a position teaching biology/chemistry in Malaysia, Option 3 might be best.

    I think your next step is finding a position teaching biology/chemistry. You have overseas teaching experience. Time to teach your higher skill set. These are high-demand subjects. Many lower level schools are quite happy to hire someone who knows the subject, even without experience teaching that subject. You're clearly comfortable in a classroom, so that makes you more attractive to high schools.

    In short, find a position teaching bio/chem, and perhaps do Option 1 as it's the most direct. Your value is your knowledge. Seriously, biology and chemistry tend to be difficult positions to fill. In my experience, a school's main concern is 'do you know the subject?'.
  19. noncon

    noncon New commenter

    Thank you for the reply!

    I phoned a couple of recruitment companies that specialise in recruiting teachers for teaching positions in various schools abroad (seekteachers being on of them) and asked them about the possibility of finding jobs with an iPGCE. They said it is possible, especially in the UAE, but I would have to start off on the TTP and work for 2 years before I get some approved teaching status, like a QTS, but only valid in the UAE. I asked about getting a face-to-face PGCE such as option 3. They advised that I get a subject specific PGCE as it will open all doors and provide better opportunities since STEM teachers are in high demand. I guess the universe is directing me to go back to the UK and do my PGCE for a year.

    In terms of finding a position teaching bio/chem, how would I do that without a teaching license? As far as I'm aware, I thought a teaching license is needed to teach in an international school. Plus, I graduated in 2012 so it's been a while since I've done anything science related. Do schools care about this or do they just want someone that has a degree in something science related?
    Bill8899 likes this.
  20. Bill8899

    Bill8899 New commenter

    Yes, a subject-specific PGCE opens all doors, but there are various doors. I imagine, though I don't know this as a fact, that the top schools likely don't hire newly minted QTS teachers regardless, so in my view that's a longer term goal. Meanwhile, some schools do hire teachers without a license, but my experience is in China. I know nothing of Middle East hiring practices and they might be much more strict.

    Sure schools care about licenses and experience - sometimes the license is necessary if only to satisfy the local governing bodies. But if a school cannot find a licensed teacher, they make do. Someone will say that a school in that position is probably not the best school, and I agree. But if you want to teach bio/chem, I would start looking now. See what's out there. Maybe send an app or two.

    As far as the subjects, I'm confident you could quickly revise biology and chemistry to an A Level or better. You may remember without review. It's only high school.

    'SeekTeachers' seems to be at the top of the recruiting game, so they work with top prospects. You might need a few years to reach that status in bio/chem. The best status would be a PGCE and a few years of experience. That's in the future. I say chat with them, send some applications and finish one of your Options.

    You don't want to teach English forever, do you? =]
    noncon likes this.

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